The Importance of Keeping Siblings Together
In defining the term “sibling,” agencies may use a broad definition to embrace the traditions, faith affiliations, and unique family structures of various cultures and extended families.
Therefore, “sibling” can include those who share a birth parent or legal parent, step-parent and/or others who have lived together in a family and identify themselves as siblings.
Maintaining and supporting sibling relationships is essential to the healthy development and well-being of all children, and it is especially important for children in out-of-home care.
When children experience parental losses, neglect and abuse, they depend on one another to survive. In the absence of reliable parental care, children turn to siblings for support, leading to strong sibling bonds. Being with siblings in placement helps to mitigate the impact of separation and loss and offers continuity, support and a sense of safety and security for children.